News and Events
In-Person and Remote Advising Available
The Department of Linguistics will be open most days, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Please see our Faculty and Staff page for office hours and contact information.
Drop-in linguistics tutoring is open to all linguistics students in BH 403.
- Tuesdays, 11-11:50
- Wednesdays, 9-10
- Thursdays, 11-11:50
- Fridays, 4-5
Come and see the cool things our alumni are doing with their linguistics degrees.
A talk by WWU alum Samantha Wray
Did you grow up speaking a language other than English or Spanish? Is that language not taught at WWU? Are you interested in learning more about your language?
WWU LING major Ilsa O’Rollins has kept busy between her involvement with the LSA and Western’s Linguistics Department. Read the full story here.
Professor of Linguistics Dr. Kristin Denham has been inducted into the 2024 class of Fellows of the Linguistics Society of America.
Read about the fascinating research of WWU's Dr. Edward Vajda
Story by John Thompson
In our courses here at Western, we are interested in the ways in which the study of language can provide the tools, the analytical skills, and the historical and cultural context to better understand the ways in which language is used to separate, segregate, and discriminate.
It’s important to us that our department is not only a welcoming place for everyone, intolerant of discrimination, but that we are actively working to dismantle power structures that serve to discriminate against underrepresented populations.
Welcome Prospective and Incoming Students
It’s the best possible combination of fields – math, cognitive science, formal logic, anthropology, etc. It’s impossible to get bored and there’s always something to learn.
Western's Department of Linguistics can lead students not only to find interesting and engaging careers and jobs but also to give back to their communities in important ways. Our alumni are teaching, creating, writing, analyzing, and serving in a vast array of careers and civic engagement.
We now have a cohort of about 170 students, and an eager and active Associated Students Linguistics Club. Faculty from several departments contribute to our department, including from Modern and Classical Languages, Anthropology, and Computer Science.
We want to hear from you. If you have news to share, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 360-650-3914.
Royce Gibson is a consummate scholar. Faculty comment that he is “academically brilliant,” “a fantastic researcher,” “kind,” and “modest” He is extremely enthusiastic, and always challenges himself. Royce participates above and beyond; he is very eager to learn and takes course assignments and projects to the next step. In addition to being a “true scholar”, a term several faculty used to describe Royce, he is also an intuitive teacher. Many faculty note that Royce contributes to a collaborative learning environment. “He makes great observations and shares them with the class,” several note, but in an unassuming and very helpful way. He is a simply superb student with a depth and breadth of knowledge and a sincere desire to keep learning.Royce Gibson2022-2023 Department of Linguistics Outstanding Graduating Senior
Fulbright U.S. Award Recipients
Congratulations to WWU Linguistics Alums Nathan Bucker (Germany) and Molly DeLeo (Germany)
2022-2023 Department of Linguistics Exceptional Student Awardees
Abigail Landaverde - Glory Busic - Carlisle Van Leuven
2022-2023 Exceptional Student in Spanish-Linguistics Awardee
2023-2024 Denham Family Linguistics Student Scholarship Awardee
2023-2024 Shaw Gynan Memorial Scholarship Awardee
2023-2024 Linguistics Student Scholarship Awardees
Ilsa O’Rollins - Red Sheets
Linguistics Department Scholars Week Presenters 2023
- “Mauwake Focus Markers”
- “Internalized Attitudes: African American English Speakers and African American English”
- “Negation in Korean Syntax”
- “Korean Modality”
- “Topic and Focus Phrases in Pite Saami”
- “Warao Determiners and Their Phrase Structure”
- “Simplifying the Syntactic Theory of Minimalism”
- “Strategies of Disjunction in Ket”
- “Language and Identity in the Transgender Community of Tumblr”
- “Inventory of Modal Auxiliaries in Irish”
Thatch Trautmann - Co-author/language consultant J.R. Manríquez
- “Nominalization in Numu (Northern Paiute)”
Edward Vajda was recently interviewed by by radio host Charles McCullough in a podcast titled "Comparing Siberian Ket language to Native American languages"
Edward Vajda, who teaches linguistics, Russian, and Eurasian studies in Western’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Heinrich Werner, the world's foremost expert on Yeniseic (Yeniseian) languages, sought to create a comparative-historical Yeniseian dictionary that is readily accessible to English speakers.
Western Professor of Linguistics Kristin Denham and Assistant Professor of Linguistics Jordan Sandoval have published a new book that introduces the study of language for undergraduate and beginning graduate students who would like to further their linguistics studies.
Edward Vajda, professor of linguistics, Russian, and Eurasian Studies in Western’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, along with his long-time colleague Michael Fortescue (professor emeritus, University of Copenhagen), have published a new book, Mid-Holocene Language Connections between Asia and North America.
Professor of Linguistics Dr. Anne Lobeck was inducted into the 2021 class of Fellows of the Linguistics Society of America.
Western's Dr. Kristin Denham chosen as the LSA's featured member for April 2020.
About the Linguistics Department
Linguistics is the scientific study of language, focusing on investigating the properties of individual languages as well as the characteristics of language as a whole. Linguists are interested in a wide range of questions about language: questions like what language is made of (its internal grammar), how language is processed and produced, how people use language in societies, how children and adults acquire language, and how languages change over time. The study of linguistics connects to the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences and complements interests in fields such as Anthropology, Computer Science, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Neuroscience, Sociology, Psychology, Biology, Philosophy, English, World Languages, and Education.